La Liga chief Javier Tebas on Saturday (May 23) said that he is hoping the Spanish football league would return with the first game from June 8.
Football fans all around the world were relishing the return of German Football (Bundesliga) last week and the return of Liga would contribute to their happiness amid the difficulties of lockdown.
The race for the championship is going to be pretty close. Champions FC Barcelona leads the table at 58 points but is just two points adrift of arch-rival Real Madrid FC and with eleven games left in the season, the title could swing either way.
Los Blancos cut down the gap by winning El Clasico 2-0 in March before the league was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, La Liga teams resumed individual training which later extended training in groups of maximum 14 players on Monday.
Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Getafe, and Atletico Madrid, separated by two points, are vying for Champions League places. Atletico Madrid would like to carry their confidence from the Champions League round of 16 win against Liverpool to their league performances.
Despite leading the table, the season has not been Barcelona’s best. Quique Setien, after being appointed as the head coach in January, has promised to bring back Barcelona’s classic possession-based play and doubts linger over his choice of players after 12 games in charge.
The loaning out of Carles Perez, Todibo, and Philippe Coutinho has not gone down well with the fans. The midfield has been a problem for Barcelona since the departure of club legends Xavi Hernandez and Anrdeas Iniesta. Seiten’s choice to go with the underperforming Ivan Rakitic raised eyebrows while Arthur Melo and Frenkie De Jong have not lived up to the expectations.
The ongoing feud between the board and the players, especially Lionel Messi, had its own effect on the game.
Real Madrid’s goal drought has been a problem for Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman returned to the club following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari. On the contrary, Lopetegui is coaching Sevilla with a considerable success rate in the current season.
Karim Benzema has been overburdened with the responsibility to carry the team in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo who left for Italian champions Juventus. Eden Hazard who was a big money signing from Chelsea FC has been sidelined due to injuries crippling him from playing. Luka Modric, the Ballon D’or winner of 2018, has been mired by poor performances.
Coming to the player stats, Lionel Messi leads the goal-scoring charts with 19 goals in 22 games followed by Karim Benzema 14 goals in 26 games. The Argentinian also leads the assists with 12 assists followed by Real Sociedad’s Cristian Manzanera who is on 8 assists from 24 games.
Players to watch out
Atletico Madrid sold their star striker Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona for huge money, freeing up space for Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix who was signed from Benfica for a sum of €126 million. The 19-year-old has struggled to find form and will take some time to settle in. His discipline has come under scrutiny after picking up a fight with Lionel Messi in the Spanish Super Cup game.
Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele has been struggling with multiple injuries which has raised doubts over his future while his compatriot Samuel Umtiti might leave the Catalans at the end of the season.
Vinicius Junior’s performances at Real Madrid have been below par since joining from Brazilian club Flamengo. However, his late goal in the Clasico win against Barcelona in March helped his case.
Celta Vigo, surprisingly, is in the relegation battle alongside Mallorca, Leganes and Espanyol. Valencia and Villarreal are also stuck in the mid-table and are far away from the Champions League play-off spot. The La Liga this year is not surprising for the title winner race but has huge surprises in the mid table and relegation battles.
FC Barcelona is expected to play Mallorca as an away game while Real Madrid could face Eibar FC and Sevilla shall compete against Real Betis as a home game. Atletico Madrid might play Athletic Bilbao in the San Mames Stadium.
However, the fixtures and schedule for the games are yet to be announced.